Hello again, folks.

As we near the Steam launch on PC and the code merge with PS4, we want to provide even more transparency with fun things that are in development. The next major element we want to share are Retrofits.

What are Retrofits?

In short, Retrofits give you the ability to change the geometry of your ship.

So, how is this different from a Hero Ship? Let’s compare:

Hero Ships:
  • Are ships that can be directly put in your fleet

  • Have lore behind them

  • Have custom ship parts that are usable on any other ship of the same manufacturer and ship class (any tier)

  • Have a unique figurehead (a second forecastle) that can be optionally used (most, but not all, Hero Ships have this)

  • Are tier-specific, and allow you to try battling in a tier that you might not have reached through regular progression

  • Have loadouts and appearances that can not be modified (however, these loadouts allow you to use modules and weapons you may not have earned yet through regular progression)

  • Accelerate your progress. They give 10% bonus XP and credits. In addition, the XP earned is 70% convertible (able to be turned into free XP) and 30% free (able to be used on any ship straight away). This is a bonus that’s awarded even if your Hero Ship is just sitting idle in your fleet as you play other ships.

  • Are a collection of custom ship parts that are usable on any other ship of the same manufacturer and ship class (any tier)

  • Have none of the other benefits or limitations of Hero Ships

  • Can be used with your favorite coatings, decals, emblems and patterns

  • Are all about your style, your vision, and what you want your ship to be

Between these two types of content, tier-IV Hero Ships still provide the most value. However, Retrofits give you the most options for customizing your ships. You will eventually find Retrofits via the market window in the “bundles” section.

For example: here’s an early concept art mock-up for a Retrofit of an Oberon corvette (a Fulgora, Medusa or Mithras) we had internally codenamed “the Wasp” created by artist Ben Parker. You will see a number of different directions that could have been taken; however, the art team and art director picked a design based on variant D.

Retrofit Wasp Thumbnails

Going into the next phase of 3D concept art modelling, here’s a work-in-progress breakdown of what the individual parts look like when added to the base ship.

Retrofit Wasp Proxy Blockout

We called the resulting design the “Golden Legion,” which was actually the name of a progression 1.0 ship two years ago. We liked the name so much that we brought it back. When we put the Golden Legion into the game it will look something like this:

Retrofit Wasp Color Mask

Retrofit Wasp Coating Example

As we get closer to release, we’ll show you what our version looks like in-game and fully rendered. Of course, yours will likely look a little different. You’ll be able to make it dark and stealthy, or gaudy and loud (it’s your ship).

As with all ship parts within the “ship components” section of the loadout / appearance screen, you’ll be able to select Retrofit parts just as you would the bridge, hull, stern or forecastle of vessels in your fleet (Hero Ships and regular progression ships).

Retrofit Wasp Parts Breakdown

You’ll start to see more of the Golden Legion as well as other Retrofits soon. We expect to begin rolling out early, work-in-development versions in the coming weeks. We’re excited about this new type of ship customization, and we hope you are too.

Be sure to let us know what you think in the forums!